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$9.6 million coming to Iowa Department of Agriculture

Will be used for water quality initiatives

By Diego Flammini,

Iowa’s farmers and Department of Agriculture are set to benefit from a large investment from the state’s legislative body.

$9.6 million has been approved by the Iowa Legislature to be used to support the Iowa Water Quality Initiative in the next fiscal year, which starts on July 1st. Before the funding can come into effect, it must be formally approved by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.

Water quality test

“Farmers have greatly increased their financial commitment to improving water quality in recent years and I appreciate our state’s leaders doing the same.  Iowa is a model nationally for the progress that can be made on this important issue.  These funds will allow us to continue to expand our water quality efforts and engage more Iowans,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said.

The $9.6 million is being broken down into sections:

  • $4.4 million for water quality in the Agriculture and Natural Resources appropriation bill
  • $5.2 million for the Rebuilt Iowa Infrastructure Fund - $450,000 of which will be for the Nutrient Research Center to be used for water monitoring technology and equipment

The Iowa Water Quality Initiative, started in 2013, was designed to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, which is aimed at reducing nitrogen and phosphorous losses in the water by 45%.

Since its inception, more than 1,600 farmers have invested about $4.2 million in the past two years to try something new on their farm and help improve water quality.

Tell us your thoughts on Iowa’s government setting $9.6 million aside for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative. What kind of measures have you taken on your farm to protect water quality? What’s some advice you can offer to other farmers?

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